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UGC urges private universities to halt online exams, admissions again

  • Published at 09:29 pm April 10th, 2020
UGC headquarters
File photo of the UGC headquarters in Dhaka Collected from the UGC website

Universities want UGC to review its decision

The University Grants Commission (UGC) on Friday once again urged all private universities to stop online examinations, their evaluation and admissions amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“The Covid-19 is taking a firm grip over Bangladesh and it’s not a favourable situation at all to conduct academic activities and admission process for the upcoming summer semester,” reads a statement by UGC Member (public relations) Dr Shamsul Arefin.

The commission as well the government is gravely concerned over the safety of the thousands of students, it said.

In the wake of the situation, the UGC has decided that it’s April 4 public notice will remain valid and the next course of action will be notified to universities if thing improves, according to the statement.

On April 4, UGC urged all private universities to stop conducting exams and evaluations online, and stop enrollment of students for the summer semester.

It came two weeks after the commission asked universities on March 23 to continue classes online.

Private universities, however, questioned the UGC’s move arguing that universities across the world were continuing academic activities online to mitigate the pressure on students.

The Association of Private Universities of Bangladesh (APUB) said the 2010 Private University Act does not specify any rule for student enrollment.

“If the universities cannot complete the semesters, one way it will create a backlog, which will lead to a rise in cost of education. Private universities, especially the newer ones, will incur a loss,” APUB President Sheikh Kabir Hossain wrote to the UGC on April 8.

Subsequently, the universities will be not able to clear the salaries of the faculty and staff, the letter added.

The APUB urged the UGC to review its decision and also called for discussions with stakeholders.